Cochrane Complementary Medicine collaborates with partners to present and disseminate relevant evidence in Cochrane resources and a variety of complementary medicine journals. We update the information included here as new resources become generally available.

Journal columns

Cochrane Complementary Medicine has published Cochrane columns in the CAM journals Explore, Global Advances in Health and MedicineEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine, and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The Explore column provides summaries or clinician-oriented commentaries on CAM-related Cochrane reviews. The Global Advances in Health and MedicineEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine, and  Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine columns provide Summary of Findings tables and Plain Language Summaries of CAM-related Cochrane Reviews. A further description of each of these columns is provided below, together with links to the full-text PDFs of the columns published to date.

CAM Field Cochrane review commentary column in Explore (previously published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine)

The CAM Field coordinates the preparation of a column, published in the CAM journal Explore (initially published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine), which provides either brief summary or a clinican-oriented commentary of CAM-related Cochrane reviews. This column was designed to promote an awareness of the Cochrane Collaboration and to improve the understanding of randomized trial and systematic review methodology among CAM practitioners and researchers. The Explore Cochrane summary and commentary columns (as well as the initial three Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine commentary columns) published to date can be accessed below:

  1. Bao T. Commentary on the Cochrane review of stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. Explore (NY). 2011 July-August;7(4):263-264. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2011.04.013. Pubmed PMID: 21724162. Schnyer R. Cochrane CAM Field: Commentary on the Cochrane Review of acupuncture for depression. Explore (NY). 2011 May-Jun;7(3):193-7. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2011.02.013. PubMed PMID: 21571238. 
  2. Stener-Victorin E, Manheimer E. Commentary on the Cochrane review of acupuncture and assisted conception. Explore (NY). 2011 Mar-Apr;7(2):120-133. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2010.12.016. PubMed PMID: 21397874. 
  3. Fonnebo V. Cochrane CAM reviews commentary: is there more to quality than the research method itself? Explore (NY). 2010 May-June;7(1):53-54. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2010.10.010. PubMed PMID: 21194673. 
  4. Foster NE. Commentary on the Cochrane review of acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Explore (NY). 2010 May-June;6(3):189-91. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2010.03.013. PubMed PMID: 20451155. 
  5. Molsberger A. Commentary on the Cochrane review of acupuncture for tension-type headache. Explore (NY). 2009 Nov-Dec;5(6):356-8. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2009.09.007. PubMed PMID: 19913766. 
  6. Pirotta M. Commentary on the Cochrane Review of Chinese herbal medicine for dysmenorrhea. Explore (NY). 2008 Nov-Dec;4(6):389-91. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2008.09.006. PubMed PMID: 18984553. 
  7. Yeh GY. Commentary on the Cochrane Review of tai chi for rheumatoid arthritis. Explore (NY). 2008 Jul-Aug;4(4):275-7. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2008.04.011. PubMed PMID: 18602623. 
  8. Sherman K. Commentary on the Cochrane review of massage for neck pain. Explore (NY). 2008 May-Jun;4(3):213-4. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2008.02.013. PubMed PMID: 18466854. 
  9. Linde K. Updating systematic reviews. Explore. 2006 July;2(4):363-4
  10. Trinh K, Phillips S. Critique of a Cochrane review [of acupuncture for lateral elbow pain]. Explore. 2006 Jan;2(1):64-5.
  11. Manheimer E, Berman B. Exploring, evaluating and applying the results of systematic reviews of CAM therapies. Explore. 2005 May;1(3):210-14.
  12. Liu J, MacLehouse H. Cochrane for CAM providers: commentary on the Cochrane review of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 July-Aug;10(4):78-81.
  13. Caspi O. Commentary on the Cochrane review of melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 Mar-Apr;10(2):74-78.
  14. Manheimer E, Berman B. Cochrane for CAM Providers: commentary on the Cochrane review of acupuncture for idiopathic headache. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Sept-Oct;9(5):110-112.

Cochrane Complementary Medicine Summary of Findings columns in Global Advances in Health and MedicineEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine, and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

Beginning with the July/August 2009 issue of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Cochrane Complementary Medicine launched a column to highlight for CAM researchers and clinicians some of the recent Summaries of Findings tables and Plain Language Summaries of CAM-related Cochrane reviews. The Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine columns listed below have now been published and can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinked text below. The Cochrane Summary of Findings/Plain Language Summary column was moved to the new journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine, starting with this new journal’s first issue of March 2011. Beginning in 2015, Cochrane Summary of Findings/Plain Language Summary columns have also been published in the journal European Journal of Integrative Medicine.

  1. Sæterdal I,Underland V, Strømme Nilsen E. Probiotics for Preventing Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2012;1(2):92-93.
  2. Underland V, Sæterdal I, Strømme Nilsen E. Horse Chestnut Seed Extract for Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2012;1(1):122-123.
  3. Manheimer E. Summary of findings tables: presenting the main findings of Cochrane CAM-related reviews in a transparent and simple tabular format. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2012;1(1):90-91.
  4. Sæterdal I, Underland V, Strømme Nilsen E. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;17(2):9-10.
  5. Underland V, Sæterdal I, Strømme Nilsen E. Artichoke leaf extract for hypercholesterolaemia. Altern Ther Health Med 2011;17(6):18-19.
  6. Underland V, Sæterdal I, Strømme Nilsen E. Cochrane CAM review: summary of findings: Music therapy for acquired brain injury. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011;17(2):16-17.
  7. Underland V, Strømme Nilsen E, Sæterdal I. Cochrane CAM review: summary of findings: Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 Jan-Feb;17(1):8-9.
  8. Vist G, Glenton C. Chinese herbs for angina. Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;16(2):48-50.
  9. Manheimer E, Brian B, Vist G, Glenton C. The effect of probiotics on preventing necrotizing enterocolitis in premature babies. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Jul/Aug:15(4):18-20.

Plain Language Summaries

From approximately 2009-2012, the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field collaborated with the Norwegian branch of the Nordic Cochrane Center to communicate the message of Cochrane Reviews to the general public, through the creation of Summary of Findings tables/Plain Language Summaries (SoF/PLS) of CAM-related Cochrane Reviews. The following SoF/PLS were prepared by Claire Glenton PhD, Elin S. Nilsen MS, Ingvil Sæterdal PhD, Vigdis Underland MS, and Gunn Vist PhD on behalf of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field and with funding from the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) now called the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the US National Institutes of Health (grant number R24 AT001293). 

Summary of Findings (SoF) tables were developed and then used as a basis for the PLS. Each SoF table presented the most important outcomes of the review, the effect of the intervention on each outcome, and the quality of the evidence for each outcome. The process of developing the SoF table involved deciding which outcomes to present for which time points and evaluating the strength and quality of the evidence for the outcomes. The review authors were also contacted to request clarification on any points that are not understood in the Cochrane review and also to request their review of the SoF. The development of a vehicle for disseminating the bottom line message of Cochrane reviews in as simplified a format as possible has been underway within Cochrane since 2000. The resulting SoF format, based on the GRADE approach for evaluating the strength and quality of evidence [GRADE Working Group; BMJ  2004], is the final summary format that has been decided upon by the Cochrane Collaboration. Since approximately 2010, Cochrane has mandated the inclusion of SoF/PLS in all published reviews, with these same goals of simplicity and clarity in mind. Since reviews are constantly updated, the evidence underlying the earlier SoF/PLS below is now outdated and the links are maintained for historical interest. 

Note that the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field publishes summaries and SoF/PLS columns for complementary medicine Cochrane reviews in some CAM journals; a list of these columns can be found here. If you are interested in contributing to summary columns, or in other dissemination activities for complementary-medicine related Cochrane reviews, please contact L Susan Wieland, PhD.

Consumer summaries


In 2005, the CAM Field staff partnered with Gill Gyte and Janet Wale of the Cochrane Consumer Network to coordinate the preparation of plain language, brief summaries of Cochrane Reviews that are user-friendly, accessible, and quality-assessed. These Consumer Summaries have been posted on this website so that they are freely available to everyone. This project was supported by Grant Number R24 AT001293 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) which is now called the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The contents of the summaries are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCCAM/NCCIH, the National Institutes of Health, or Cochrane.

The evidence underlying these summaries is now outdated and the summaries are maintained for historical interest. The aim of consumer summaries was to ensure that the high quality science of the Cochrane Reviews was maintained, while also including the perspective of consumers who may use the therapies. Cochrane now includes Plain Language Summaries (PLS) for all published reviews, with these same goals of relevance and accessibility in mind. If you are interested in writing blog posts on Cochrane reviews, or creating other consumer-accessible formats to summarize up-to-date Cochrane evidence on complementary medicine, please contact L Susan Wieland, PhD.

Therapeutic Area 

Healthcare Condition 




Diet  Vitamin B6-Magnesium  Sound  Music


Diet  Acupuncture  Yoga  Vitamins


High cholesterol  

Diet  Artichoke leaf extract  Omega 3 fatty acids

High blood pressure  

Calcium  Magnesium  Potassium supplements singly and combined  Low salt and dietary salt reduction


Zinc  Fish oil  Self monitoring  Adherence to treatment  Group training in self management  Exercise

Peripheral vascular disease  

Arterial: Omega 3 fatty acids  Vitamin E  garlic  Chelation therapy  Homocysteine

Ulcers: Zinc  Electromagnetic therapy  Ultrasound  Horse chestnut seed extract


Dan Shen  Gingko biloba  Electrical stimulation for shoulder



House dust mite  Pets  Feather  bedding  Humidity control  Ionisers  Staying in caves

Reducing salt intake  Tartrazine exclusion  Fish oil  Vitamin C  Selenium

Acupuncture  Homeopathy Breathing  Alexander technique  Inspiratory muscle training  Physical training  Manual therapy

Common ailments 

Common cold  

Echinacea  Vitamin C

Urinary tract infection  


Muscle soreness  

Hyperbaric oxygen 

Wound healing 

Therapeutic touch

Pressure sores  

Electromagnetic therapy  Ultrasound  Dietary

Ill health  

Prayer (intercessory)

Air travel  

DVT  Melatonin for jetlag



Ginkgo biloba  Hyperbaric oxygen

Mental health 


Kava Passiflora Valerian Cognitive behavioural therapy Exercise Meditation Psychological therapies Psychosocial therapies Paraprofessional care  


Music therapy Folate Inositol St John's wort Tryptophan Acupuncture Light therapy Transcranial magnetic stimulation Exercise Psychological therapy and education Psychosocial therapy Paraprofessional care Psychological therapies for preventing postnatal depression  


Polyunsaturated fatty acids  Music therapy   Hypnosis  Art therapy



Calcium postmenopause  Vitamin D  Calcium and vitamin D for people on corticosteroids



Exercise  Glucosamine  Electrotherapy  Low level laser  TENS  Ultrasound

Hip or knee joint replacement  

Patient education  Continuous passive motion

Rheumatoid arthritis  

Acupuncture  Herbal therapies  Spa therapy  Thermotherapy  Exercise  Electrical stimulation  TENS  Low-level laser  Ultrasound  Occupational therapy  Splints and insoles


Prevention of gastrointestinal 

Dietary fibre  Calcium  Antioxidants

Relief of side effects  

Aromatherapy and massage  Chinese herbal medicines

Women's health 

Period (menstrual) pain  

Herbs and diet  Exercise  Behavioural therapy  Spinal manipulation  TENS  Chinese herbal medicines



Vitamins A, C, D, E  Folate  Iron and folate  Magnesium  Zinc

Blood pressure complications  

Calcium  Garlic  Marine oil  Vitamin E


Acupuncture  Homeotherapy  Enemas  Shaving  Continuous support  Position  Fetal monitoring  Episiotomy  Perineal massage  Therapeutic ultrasound

Men's health 

Prostate enlargement  

Pygeum africanum  Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)  Beta-sitosterols  Cernilton